Today, Second Lady Karen Pence, joined by the Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to launch the Department of Labor’s Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses (TEAMS) Program. They also visited K9 For Warriors and a military spouse-owned business.
At Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Mrs. Pence delivered remarks to military spouses, promoting the TEAMS program and applauding the NAS Jacksonville and Department of Labor partnership and work in launching the program. She thanked the military spouses for their important contributions to the United States Armed Forces and highlighted their strengths and contributions to the military community. Military spouses face unique barriers to employment opportunities due to their frequent moves, varying occupational licensing state requirements, and a 24% unemployment rate, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. Pence recognized these challenges and shared the accomplishments that have been made under the Trump Administration to address military spouse employment issues.
TEAMS is a new program that will offer a curriculum to assist military spouses in their career endeavors with training on employment essentials, tailored to their unique circumstances. It will provide military spouses with free two hour workshops focused on using marketing techniques to search for jobs. The workshops will also focus on networking opportunities and use multiple resources to develop an action plan to assist military spouses with the job search process.
Following her remarks at NAS Jacksonville, Mrs. Pence visited K9s For Warriors and learned more about the organization’s work in addressing veteran suicide. K9s For Warriors, the nation’s largest provider of Service Dogs to military veterans, rescues and trains shelter dogs to be paired as Service Dogs for veterans coping with Post-Traumatic Stress, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. Mrs. Pence toured the facility and met with staff and veterans who have gone through the program. The Second Lady also viewed a dog training demonstration.
Mrs. Pence then visited a military spouse and veteran-owned business, Social Grounds Coffee. The owners, Amanda and Jason Kellaway, gave a brief tour of their store and shared how they started the business. They also explained how they are working to offer employment opportunities and join community efforts to provide mental health support to area veterans.
“We know that having a job can be rewarding and I was honored to help launch TEAMS, which will greatly benefit military spouses in their job search.” said Second Lady Karen Pence. “This program will help bring important courses and resources directly to military spouses living on base and enhance their employment opportunities. I also enjoyed learning more about K9 For Warriors’ incredible work to address veteran suicide prevention through their Service Dog program.”
Second Lady’s Military Spouse Campaign
Mrs. Pence launched an awareness campaign in September of 2018 to elevate and encourage military spouses while also recognizing their unique employment challenges. Mrs. Pence has traveled the country meeting spouses, business leaders, and government officials advocating for more fulfilling career opportunities for military spouses.